Chennai: As the entire Tamil Nadu celebrated the birth centenary of the legendary matinee idol and inspiring statesman and former Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran who founded the AIADMK, a large number of his family members including his niece Leelavathy and grand nephew Praveen, joined the BJP on Tuesday.
Though their sudden joining in the presence of senior BJP leaders raised eyebrows, MGR's neice Ms. Leelavathy, the daughter of MGR's elder brother M. G. Chakrapani, and the latter's grandson Praveen, said " had Dr MGR been alive, he would have not only appreciated the good governance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but also supported him."
It was Ms Leelavathy's sacrifice in donating one of her kidneys to late MGR that had prolonged the life of the AIADMK founder by about three years. She donated her organ in 1984 when he was battling for his life in the Brooklyn Hospital in New York.
Says M. C. R. Praveen, son of M. G. C. Rajendran, “MGR had always supported people who are honest and I would like to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his clean image and administrative skills…I will strive for the development of the BJP and also ensure the good work of Mr. Modi reaches the people.”
Praveen and Ms Leelavathy joined BJP in the presence of P. Muralidhar Rao, national general secretary, Union minister of state for road transport, highways and shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, party president and other leaders. Besides them, Geetha Madhu Mohan, daughter of former Chief Minister Janaki Ramachandran’s brother, Nirmala Raveendran and others joined the saffron party. They garlanded MGR’s statue before formally joining the BJP.
According to sources in the party, MGR's relatives expressed their willingness to join the BJP when they called on Radhakrishnan following Muralidhar Rao’s initiative.